This article originally appeared in Information Security Buzz on January 15, 2019.
An investigative report by Motherboard has uncovered how geo-location data from mobile carriers such as T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T have been shared with third-party partners who sell the information to unauthorized entities not licensed to possess it. The story focused on a company known as Microbilt, that was found to sell geolocation information without regard to the buyers.
Alex Calic, Strategic Technology Partnerships Officer at the Media Trust:
“The Microbuilt approach is risky at best and these types of actions could lead to significant fines under new data privacy laws, not to mention puttingT-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T’s reputation at stake.Data scandals like this demonstrate that Cambridge Analytica was just the tip of the iceberg that consists of the unregulated data ecosystem enabling legitimate and shady entities to profit from the trade of consumer data, a growing number of whom are kids with cell phones. Geo-location data is particularly risky-and could put some customers in actual physical danger. Legal entanglements stemming from such third-party actions could embroil the main companies in long and expensive court actions.”